Dr Gasheri Thuku is successfully juggling a career in dentistry where she heads the Dental Department at the Maragwa Sub-district Hospital and runs a business – manufacturing and selling natural skin care products.
By MERCY KAMANA
One thing stands out about Dr. Gasheri Thuku – she is a rolling ball of energy and laughter. The most asked question about her is, “How many hours do you have in your day?” Dr. Gasheri is a dentist at the Maragwa Sub-county Hospital where she also doubles as the Head of Dental Department. She is also the founder and CEO of Sheth Naturals, a natural oils and butters company that she started in 2014.
Recently, she was called upon to be a member of the Board of Management at her former school, Kenya High School. On top of that, she organises yearly medical camps in her county. Event organisation is also in her blood, having recently put together the first Boma High Tea that brought the Kenya High School alumni together.
Every three days, from 8am to 5pm, she is in Maragwa, relieving people from crippling toothaches and attending to emergencies. When she is not in Maragwa, she is managing Sheth, a company that she founded after a frustrating search for natural hair products.
Despite the abundant availability of indigenous trees and fruits from which natural oils and butters are made, the oils were ridiculously expensive. Dr. Gasheri therefore embarked on a mission to provide these products in the most affordable way- by having minimal margin between the production cost and retail cost. Sheth Naturals now serves every county in Kenya through their delivery system and stockists in different towns. They also serve Uganda, Tanzania and very recently South Africa. They also do a few export orders globally but the main base is East and South Africa.
Dr. Gasheri says the company ensures high quality in its products by first engaging professionals in research, formulations and production. She adds that they are also particular about where and from whom they get their raw materials and they try to keep to the same suppliers as much as possible to be able to guarantee quality and consistency.
Managing her passion
Juggling the two passions is not very challenging because Sheth Naturals is a passion as is dentistry. Initially, time management was a challenge, but she has since learnt to deal with this by creating time for what matters most.
“Life being about choices, I still have choices to make ahead as need arises, but for now, I have two things I enjoy doing; dentistry and Sheth Naturals,” she quips.
“My advice to other people who are looking forward to running a side hustle successfully, is to give it their all. The road curves in the right places and eventually guides you to your purpose,” she adds.
Dr. Gasheri’s biggest passion is good customer service and she admits that she loves nothing more than seeing a client walk away satisfied and confident of what she needs to know about her hair and skin. As such, she looks out for employees who reflect that side of her and carry her vision with utmost efficacy.
Some of her clients have tried all things with their skin and hair by the time they come to Sheth. Some are impatient and need care and follow up to ensure they have a good regimen that works for them. She therefore has to work with people who are patient and well versed with natural remedies for hair and skin solutions.
One of her biggest strengths is her firmness and discipline. She admits she has been influenced to change her mind only once in her life, and even then she ended up regretting it. All her decisions are thoroughly thought out and once a decision is made, it’s final. Sheth Naturals gives staff the chance to shine in their own areas. They know they are valuable and they can make their open decisions.
Mercy Kamana is a freelance writer based in Mombasa.